7 days around the MMO world / October 25

We’ve been doing this feature for several months now and we’re starting to run out of clever introductions. We know you’re probably thinking to yourself “were they ever clever?” and you have raised a great point fair reader but we’re going to promptly ignore it, do a little dodge to slide maneuver and move on. It turns out that there has been a lot going on in the MMO world in the past seven days so we should stop stalling and get right to it shouldn’t we?

Just when you thought the battle for the name Fallout couldn’t get any hotter, the developer/publisher cat fight is beginning to come down to blows. Remember how Bethesda is suing Interplay over the Fallout MMO based on an agreement they had made when Bethesda got the rights to make Fallout 3,4 and5? Well now it looks like Interplay is switching the tables around on Bethesda and suing them. Interplay believes that Bethesda has broken the terms of the contract and thus making the agreement null and void. It should be noted that the court has not agreed to this assertion from Interplay as of yet.

It appears that Interplay is doing some shady things in regards to the agreement with Bethesda and the license to the Fallout MMO. As part of the agreement, Interplay wasn’t allowed to sub-license the rights to make the MMO version of the game. However Interplay enlisted MMO developer Masthead to aid them in the development of the game. Normally in a situation like that Interplay would have had to sub-license the rights to the Fallout MMO to Masthead which would have violated the agreement with Bethesda. However Interplay played a loop hole and used Masthead as a technology and finance raising venture and thus never issuing rights for the game to them. In the end it seems that Interplay has raised the required amount of money to make the Fallout MMO but only through the enlistment of Masthead.

Interplay is counter-suing Bethesda over claims that Bethesda hurt Interplay’s business by attempting to road block their sales of the original Fallout games that Interplay retains the rights to. Interplay claims that this makes their agreement null and void and thus gives them full rights to all things Fallout. If they were to win that argument they would be able to sub-license the MMO to Masthead without breaching a contract and Bethesda would owe Interplay royalties for Fallout 3 and any royalties from the future Fallout 5 and 6. Needless to say it’s a lot of he said she said and a tangled mess of rights, we’ll see how this all plays out in the end.

Fallen Earth hasn’t been out that long and a much needed patch has made its way to servers. The patch’s main focus is addressing the plethora of bugs that had been annoying players. It polishes up some of those random glitches that broke some of the immersion factor. They also addressed a number of gameplay issues as well, ranging from gear all the way down to the UI.

The patch also brings in the Halloween event called Days of the Dead which obviously has something to do with zombies. A long buried facility with infected zombies has been dug up and it’s up to the people of the Grand Canyon province to stop the army of undead that’s invaded. Maybe you should also hunt down the genius who dug the zombie grave up, just a thought.

Speaking of games that have been out for a short time, Aion has been out just a little bit over a month now and NCSoft has put out an address identifying issues that are currently being worked on. It’s no shock that experience gains and spammers are at the top of the list. According to the address they’re aware that the xp curve gets bad at certain points and want to eliminate the need to “grind” xp to make certain levels.

They also addressed the gold spammers that have been plaguing the AIon chat channels. Over the past couple days however the rate of spammers have dropped off but apparently the issue goes deeper as players get their credit card numbers stolen and accounts hacked. They’ve assembled a team dedicated to hunting down spammers and bots to keep them out of legitimate player’s hair. They’ve also ramped up the GM team so that complaints can be processed faster and spammers banned more efficiently. They mentioned other plans to combat spammers and gold sellers but were not forth coming with details in order to keep the enemy in the dark.

There was also mention of the bug that causes the game to crash on certain systems which happen to be more high end systems. They’ve identified the bug to be associated with one of the engine’s DLL files and assure us that the development team is working on short and long-term solutions to that problem and performance issues in general.

There unfortunately was no mention of any needed UI improvements — like the ability to darken the chat window so you can actually see the damn text– nor was there mention of any class balance issues. Does this mean that there aren’t plans to address these things in the next patch? Certainly not, but it would have been great to know that they’re doing things to level out the classes and fix annoyances in the UI.

In other MMO news: